LD-score (LDSC) regression disentangles the contribution of polygenic signal, in terms of SNP-based heritability, and population stratification, in terms of a so-called intercept, to GWAS test statistics. Whereas LDSC regression uses summary statistics, methods like Haseman-Elston (HE) regression and genomic-relatedness-matrix (GRM) restricted maximum likelihood infer parameters such as SNP-based heritability from individual-level data directly. Therefore, these two types of methods are typically considered to be profoundly different. Nevertheless, recent work has revealed that LDSC and HE regression yield near-identical SNP-based heritability estimates when confounding stratification is absent. We now extend the equivalence; under the stratification assumed by LDSC regression, we show that the intercept can be estimated from individual-level data by transforming the coefficients of a regression of the phenotype on the leading principal components from the GRM. Using simulations, considering various degrees and forms of population stratification, we find that intercept estimates obtained from individual-level data are nearly equivalent to estimates from LDSC regression (R2 > 99%). An empirical application corroborates these findings. Hence, LDSC regression is not profoundly different from methods using individual-level data; parameters that are identified by LDSC regression are also identified by methods using individual-level data. In addition, our results indicate that, under strong stratification, there is misattribution of stratification to the slope of LDSC regression, inflating estimates of SNP-based heritability from LDSC regression ceteris paribus. Hence, the intercept is not a panacea for population stratification. Consequently, LDSC-regression estimates should be interpreted with caution, especially when the intercept estimate is significantly greater than one.
- Downloaded 1,272 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 7,705 out of 89,267
- In genetics: 544 out of 4,618
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 20,385 out of 89,267
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 29,659 out of 89,267
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!